How Crosstab Software Helps You Find Hidden Trends

Uncovering trends and patterns in your data can lead to meaningful insights that boost your business across the board. Not only can you see how consumers are reacting to various products, marketing efforts or your brand in general, but you can also use the information to create effective strategies going forward.

Advanced analysis with crosstab software can help you dig deep to find the meaningful insights, with minimal effort that produces maximum results.

Crosstab Software to Uncover Sales Trends

The flexibility of crosstab software allows you to easily arrange, rearrange and filter data to obtain very specific results that uncover very specific facts. Let’s say you started with a general data table that outlined sales of your art supplies. A simple table may look something like this:

  Paint Charcoal Clay Markers Pencils Other TOTAL
Sales 550 211 396 477 202 188 2,024

Incorporate crosstab software and your simple table can be transformed into a much more meaningful table that provides insights you would have otherwise missed. This breakdown looks at different consumer purchases by age of the consumer. 

  Under 18 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55+ TOTAL
Paint 2 134 170 180 20 44 550
Charcoal 1 12 27 49 107 15 211
Clay 200 18 64 47 33 134 396
Markers 350 43 21 29 23 11 477
Pencils 122 20 17 14 13 16 202
Other 88 19 26 29 20 6 188
TOTAL 763 246 325 348 216 226 2,024

Here you can review and analyze the art supplies purchased by different age groups, which can lead to various revelations. Some of the stand-out statistics include:

  • Low amounts of paint and charcoal purchased by consumers under 18
  • Majority of clay, markers and pencils purchased by consumers under age 18
  • Majority of paint purchased by consumers aged 25 to 44
  • Barely any supplies in the other category purchased by those 55 and over

Stop there and form hypotheses, which you can then check the validity of by performing more crosstab software operations. Choosing different variables and filters to break down the data in different arrangements could lead to further insights.

  • Filter by purchase data: To see if high sales in the under age 18 segment were due to seasonal, back-to-school sales
  • Filter by gender: To see if your marketing efforts to reach more males have been successful in any category
  • Filter by occupation or hobbies: To see if your sales are related to either one
  • Filter by special sale dates: Too see if sales increased in any category due to special pricing and promotion

Crosstab Software to Uncover Survey Trends

Survey results are another area where crosstab software can unearth valuable insights to help enhance your business. Here you can arrange and filter data to look at specific survey respondent segments by age, occupation, income levels, gender or any other segment variable.

Filters and crosstabs let you set up data to review only the questions and responses that meet the specific criteria you set. Such a pinpointed setup makes it incredibly easy to home in on the exact data you want without being distracted by extraneous data that’s not relevant to the specific issue you’re reviewing.

Insights you can glean can include:

  • Global trends across the board for all survey respondents
  • How one set of respondents answered your survey, such as men’s responses versus women’s responses
  • How perceptions about your company vary across different sets of respondents
  • Comparison of results based on any different variable of respondent groups, such as women, marketing experts, lawyers, men, etc.
  • Comparison of results based on how responses were collected, such as email, website survey, social media
  • Narrowing down of results by filtering by different properties, such as time period, completed versus partially complete surveys, name or email address
  • Implementation of crosstabs on results to seek out trends based on answers to different questions, such as how consumer opinion varies between those who have tried your products and those who have not

Customer satisfaction surveys can be especially helpful for uncovering positive and negatives you can use to your advantage. For instance, you could uncover:

  • Your loyal, repeat customers, asking them to become brand advocates to help spread the word about your company and products
  • Your biggest complaints, giving you the ammo you need to improve upon those points

Tips for Uncovering Trends

When it comes to the data you want to analyze, the playing field is wide open with crosstab software. As long as your data contains variables that have numerical values that translate well into a crosstab format, you can explore any number of relationships between any number of different variables.

A few tips can help you select your variables and apply the crosstab technique to your data.

Start with a hypothesis.

You may already have some ideas of what the data may reveal before you even begin your review. Having a hypothesis in mind is solid place to begin your analysis, much more effective than randomly digging and hoping something pops to the surface.

Look for what’s NOT there.

Even if your hypothesis proves incorrect, or shows lack of a solid relationship between two items you thought would be closely related, you’re still gleaning valuable insights. Those insights may have been completely missed without first formulating a hypothesis.

Seek out the obvious.

Seeking out and finding obvious relationships, such as back-to-school sales linked to consumer age, serves to validate your results. You can then continue with deeper analysis confident that respondents were accurate and honest.

Retain an open mind.

Don’t force your hypothesis when it’s just not there. When you run across insights you didn’t expect, formulate a new hypothesis as to why that may be. Create new hypotheses as needed, testing them along the way to see if you’re on or off-target. If things are not what you expected, it’s probably your expectations that are off, not the data.

Trusting the data is an integral part of uncovering valuable insights, and simply plugging variables into crosstab software is one of the simplest ways to go about it. Arrange, rearrange and filter results as often as you wish to continuously uncover trends, patterns and other meaningful insights that can continuously help improve your business.